I have received an e-mail complaint about my commentary on Beth Moore's teachings (the specific commentary has been removed due to being obsolete, and relevant information included in newer articles). The writer told me that Beth is a godly woman who has been called by God to her ministry and, by my criticizing Beth's teachings, I was slandering her. I was also told that I should stick to fighting the enemies of the church. Now, there are some issues about this complaint I want to address so as to clarify my purpose in exposing false teachings and false teachers.
First, in order to slander someone a falsehood must be told. Since everything I wrote in the commentary is true, I cannot be charged with slander. If anything I write on this blog is found to be in error, I welcome correction because I certainly don't claim to be flawless. You can write me at the e-mail address on my profile or you can post a comment on the site by selecting "comments" at the bottom of the article.
Secondly, I will only attack false teachings or bad behaviors and never the person. I do not judge whether someone is or is not godly.
Thirdly, I believe whether someone is called of God can be determined by their fruit. If they consistently teach falsely or if their behavior is not consistent with a calling of God (e.g., they behave arrogantly and obnoxiously as does Beth on her DVDs), then I have to doubt God has called them to that ministry.
Fourthly, any false teaching is the enemy of the Church. While some false teaching isn't as harmful as others, all should be exposed and corrected. False teaching is like cyanide - a little can do great harm. We need to objectively determine the severity of the error in order to know how strongly to address it. Errors come in a few "sizes":
1. Heresy. This is a violation of fundamental Christian doctrines which determine whether one is truly Christian.
2. Aberrations. While not as harmful as heresy, aberrational teaching can cause great harm, either spiritually or by placing people in bondage to the bad teachings. This type of teaching can very often lead to heresy and, at least, distorts the teaching of the Christian faith.
3. Bad teachings. While not as bad as the previous, this type of teaching can lead to the others, depending on the subject matter. A person with consistent bad teachings will have a skewed view of the faith.
Apologists will "go to the mat" to fight heresy. Aberrations will be fought strongly against. Bad teachings may or may not need strong countering. Most of Beth Moore's teachings fall into the last type, but many are aberrational. I have not come across anything heretical by Beth, so in that regard she is a better teacher to listen to than women such as Joyce Meyer or Gloria Copeland.
Now, a very basic problem behind all error is bad hermeneutics; that is, the method of Scriptural interpretation. Rather than practicing exegesis (reading the meaning out of the text), bad teachers practice eisegesis (reading into the text their own ideas). Eisegesis has been humorously described as "hazardous hermeneutics" or even "Rorshak hermeneutics" (one sees what they want to see). I will use a couple of examples from Beth Moore to make my point (these are taken from the DVD series Believing God):
1. The passage in question is Mark 9:14-24. Moore claims that when Jesus came down from the Transfiguration with the three disciples He had taken with Him, He found the other nine arguing about why they weren’t taken with Him: Why had Jesus picked just Peter, James and John? Why weren’t the others good enough? This arguing supposedly gave them “a failure of faith.” Moore said that they had argued with the Pharisees and the teachers of the law “until they talked them out of their faith.” And this is why she says we are not to argue with “Pharisees” who want to destroy our faith in what God can do. The problem is that if she had continued the context to verse 29 her theory would have been dismantled. Jesus told them the reason they couldn’t cast out the demon was because “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (NKJV). Jesus didn’t say it was because they were arguing about why they weren’t chosen or because they were arguing with the Pharisees about anything. Since the text doesn’t say this, it is not proper for Moore to make this story up out of whole cloth.
2. Romans 10:8-10. Moore says, “He has ordained that part of the salvation process is we are going to confess ‘He is Lord’ with our mouths.” There are a few problems with this statement. First, since when is anything but faith required for salvation? Moore has added this as a requirement, yet the Bible doesn’t say that. Second, this passage doesn’t say that this is the only method of making the profession. Third, does this then prevent a mute from salvation?
Christians tend to be very objective when confronting cult teachings, or teachings that distort major doctrines, but when it comes to favorite teachers their objectivity gets lost. The personality of the teacher trumps examination of their teachings.
While maybe not noticed in her books, Beth Moore's arrogant and obnoxious behavior on her DVDs are something Christians should not emulate or even condone. Additionally, her teachings are rife with error and pop-psychology. Although Beth Moore indeed has some excellent teachings, her error is of the nature that she should be warned against and not given a pass because of her popularity. Women have much better role models in Kay Arthur, Joni Erickson Tada, Jill Briscoe, Martha Peace and others.